[b]Outrage at Miss Bimbo website[/b]
The internet game, aimed at girls aged 9 to 16, gives users ‘bimbo dollars’ to buy lingerie, diet pills and nightclub outfits. It has attracted 200,000 members in Britain
A website that encourages girls as young as 9 to embrace plastic surgery and extreme dieting in the search for the perfect figure was condemned as lethal by parents’ groups and healthcare experts yesterday.
The Miss Bimbo internet game has attracted prepubescent girls who are told to buy their virtual characters breast enlargement surgery and to keep them “waif thin” with diet pills.
Healthcare professionals, a parents’ group and an organisation representing people suffering anorexia and bulimia criticised the website for sending a dangerous message to impressionable children.
In the month since it opened the site, which is aimed at girls aged from 9 to 16, has attracted 200,000 members. Players keep a constant watch on the weight, wardrobe, wealth and happiness of their character to create “the coolest, richest and most famous bimbo in the world”. Competing against other children they earn “bimbo dollars” to buy plastic surgery, diet pills, facelifts, lingerie and fashionable nightclub outfits.
The website sparked controversy when it was introduced in France, where it attracted 1.2 million players.
Dee Dawson, the medical director of Rhodes Farm Clinic, which treats girls aged from 8 to 18 who suffer eating disorders, said: “This is as lethal as pro-anorexia websites. A lot of children will get caught up with the extremely damaging and appalling messages.”
Susan Ringwood, the chief executive of Beat, an organisation that supports those suffering eating disorders, said that the website could make girls believe that weight and body size manipulation were acceptable.
The Miss Bimbo site was set up by Nicholas Jacquart, a French entrepreneur. He moved to Tooting, South London, recently and with a 30-year-old businessman called Chris Evans set up Ouza Ltd to promote the website in Britain.
Its introduction came as research showed that children as young as 6 were developing acute eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Yesterday it emerged that increasing numbers of teenagers were undergoing breast enlargement surgery.
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